CONVICTION

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AL-KAFI

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H 38, Ch. 1, h 4

Ali ibn Muhammad and others have narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad and Muhammad ibn Yahya from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa all from ibn Mahbub from Hisham ibn Salim from abu Hamza from abu Ishaq al-Subay’i from one who narrated to him who has said the following.
“I heard Amir al-Mu’minin Ali (a.s.) say, ‘O people, you must know that religion becomes complete through seeking knowledge and acting accordingly. You must know that seeking knowledge is much more urgent for you than seeking wealth. In wealth every one’s share is guaranteed. A just person has already divided the wealth among you. He and my sword guarantee you to receive your share. Knowledge, however, is stored with those who possess it. You are commanded to seek knowledge from its sources (those who possess it). You must seek knowledge.”

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Ahl-e-Bait, Ethical Role-Models by Sayyid Mahdi As-Sadr ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

…..continued from the Book

CONVICTION


Conviction is the constant believing in the principles of the religion. Such believing should conform to the reality and not be shaken by suspicions. If it does not, it is then compound ignorance.


The Islamic Sharia has taken a special notice of conviction and showered people of conviction with glorious items of praise:

 


Amir ul-Mu’minin (a) used to say: “No one can find the true taste of faith before he believes that whatever befell him would never miss him and whatever missed him would never befall him. The real source of harm and benefit in only Allah.”

 

Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: “Faith is preferable to being Muslim. Conviction is preferable to faith. In fact, there is nothing more powerful than conviction.”

 

“The little permanent deed with conviction is favorable in the sight of Allah to the many deeds that are lacking conviction.”

 

“To avoid pleasing anyone and discontenting Allah and reproaching anyone for something that Allah has not given to you—these are parts of the trueness of Muslim’s conviction. The sustenance cannot be obtained through (any sort of) niggardliness and will not be ceased when someone hates it. If you escape your decided share of sustenance in the same way as you escape death, it will surely catch you in the same way as death will inevitably catch you. Out of His justice and equality, Allah has made pleasure and rest lie in conviction and content, and has made care and grief lie in suspect and dissatisfaction.”

 

Once, Imam ar-Rida (a) was asked to identify the best of two men one of whom says only the truth, but he commits wrongdoings, consume wines, and perpetrates the grand sins, while the other is less in conviction but he does not commit such evildoings. Then Imam said: “The first one is just like a man who sleeps on the right course; as soon as he is awaken, he will take it. The other is like a person who sleeps on the wrong course; when he is awaken, he cannot realize the right course to take.”

Imam as-Sadiq narrated that the Prophet (s) once, noticed a young man, in the mosque just after the Fajr prayer, nodding his head with his face pale, his body thin, and his eyes sunken in his head. ‘How is your morning?’ the Prophet asked the young man. ‘God’s Messenger,’ answered the man, ‘I begin this morning with full conviction.’

 

The Prophet (s) was admired by this answer; hence, he said, ‘There is a proof for every conviction. What is the proof of yours?’

The young man said, ‘God’s Messenger, my conviction is the reason of my grief, sleeplessness, and thirst in midday. Hence, I disdain this world along with its pleasures so completely, as if the Throne of my Lord is prepared for the judgment, all people, including I myself, are gathered there for interrogation, and as if people of Paradise are there enjoying the bliss and introducing themselves to each other and leaning on the sofas, and as if people of Hell are there tormented and lined up, and now I can hear the sound of fire in my hearings.’

 

The Prophet (s) said to his companions, ‘Surely, Allah has illuminated the heart of this man with faith.’ He (s) then asked him to keep on such faith and conviction. The young man asked the Prophet to pray to God for martyrdom, and the Prophet did.

 

Not before long time, that young man participated in one of the Prophet’s campaigns and was martyred.

 


Qualities of People of Conviction


People of conviction, as they are flourished and lightened by the glittering rays of conviction, acquire various colors of mental perfection that exalt them to a lofty spiritual standing. Thus, they are characterized by high moral standards and moral conducts as they avoid vices and bad manners. The illusions of this world cannot divert them from exalting their spiritual qualifications for gaining the lofty ranks and the expected endless pleasures of the life to come. They exert all efforts for offering acts of obedience to God for sake of attaining His satisfaction. They trust in Him completely in sorrow and in joy. They neither fear nor hope for anything except God because they are convinced of His well management and wisdom. Their prayers therefore are responded and their charismata are shown. Finally, they find favor with God.

Ranks of Faith

There is a great variety in the scope of people’s faith. Some are forerunners in the field of faith while others are too tardy. The following holy text may cast shadow on such a variety.

 

Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: “Like stairs, faith is of ten ranks that should be taken one by one. The owner of two ranks of faith should not accuse the owner of one rank of having nothing of faith until he climbs the ten ranks successfully. Hence, you should not throw him who is lower than you are down, lest he who is higher than you are will throw you down. You should also raise him who is lower than you are so leniently and you should avoid burdening him with heavy things that break his back. In fact, he who breaks a believer should set him.”

Categories of Faith  

  • Natural Faith:

Natural faith is that which God grants, such as faith of the prophets and their successors, because those individuals are the highest examples of faith and nobility of conviction. Neither doubts nor can the devilish inspirations influence them.

  • Transient Faith:

Transient faith is the artificial that is only said without having any reality in the inner self. Such category of faith is very soon influenced by doubts and ill inspirations.

 

Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: “A man may begin his day with faith but ends it with disbelief or the opposite. Some people borrow faith then dress it. Those are the borrowers.”

 

“Allah created prophecy in the prophets; hence, they never apostatize. Likewise, He created succession of prophecy in the prophets’ successors; hence, they never apostatize. For some believers, He created faith in them; hence, they never apostatize. For others, they are given faith as loans; but if they pray and supplicate to Allah importunately, they keep on that faith.”

 

After these two sayings, Imam as-Sadiq (a) adds a third one as the criterion of constant and transient categories of faith. He says:

 

“Regret, sorrow, and woe—all will be to him who does not benefit by that which is shown to him and does not realize whether his belief is for his good or bad… he whose deeds conform to his words will be saved (since he enjoys constant faith), while he whose deeds do not conform to his words enjoys the transient faith.”

Acquisitive Faith

Acquisitive faith is the slight natural that has been grown and increased until it is exalted to a considerable level. This category of faith, however, has different ranks.

Now, let us provide some advices that help in protecting the natural part of faith and saving the acquisitive:

  • It is recommended to associate with the faithful, pious individuals and avoid the sinful, wicked ones. It is well known that the associate plays a great role in acquiring moralities. Referring to this fact, the Prophet (s) said:

“A man follows his associate’s beliefs. Hence, you should care for choosing your associates.”

  • It is recommended to avoid looking in and listening to the books of deviation and sayings of the misleading people whose main concern is to poison the others’ pure ideas in order to take them away from the Islamic creed and to corrupt the values and concepts of faith in their mentalities.

  • It is recommended to practice pondering over God’s creatures that are characterized by beautiful made, accurate organizing, and fascinating wisdom of management:

“In the earth, there is evidence (of the Truth) for those who have strong faith. There is also evidence of the Truth within your own selves. Will you then not see? (51:20-1)”

 

 

“(I swear) by the soul and that (Power) which designed it and inspired it with knowledge of evil and piety, those who purify their souls will certainly have everlasting happiness and those who corrupt their souls will certainly be deprived (of happiness) (91:7-10).”

 

 

Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: “When a man commits a sin, a black spot emerges to his heart. If he repents, that spot will disappear. But if he keeps on committing sins, that spot will increase in area until it covers the whole heart. That man will never see success.”

CONCEIT

AL-KAFI

H 36, Ch. 1, h 2

Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Muhammad ibn al-Hassan from Muhammad ibn ‘Abdallah from ‘Isa ibn ‘Abdallah al-‘Amri from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s.) who has said the following.
“Seeking knowledge is obligatory.”

H 37, Ch. 1, h 3

Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from Yunus ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman from certain persons of his people who has said the following.
“Abu al-Hassan (a.s.) was asked, “Is it permissible for people not to seek what (religious knowledge) they need?” The Imam ( a.s.) said, “No, (it is not permissible to ignore learning).”

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Ahl-e-Bait, Ethical Role-Models by Sayyid Mahdi As-Sadr

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…..continued from the Book

CONCEIT Conceit stands for self-importance for a good trait or a noble quality, such as knowledge, wealth, high rank, or righteous deed. The difference between conceit and arrogance is that the previous is to regard oneself highly important without the feeling of being proud, while arrogance is conceit plus feeling of pride. Conceit, however, is a detestable manner implying self-humbleness, narrow-mindedness, and impudence:

“Do not consider yourselves very great. Allah knows best who is the most righteous person (53:32).”

The Prophet (s) said: “Allah knew that sin is better for the believer than self-conceit; lest, He will never let the believers commit sins.”

Imam al-Baqir (a) said: “Three things are exterminating: to regard the deeds are very much, to neglect the sins, and to be conceited.”

Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: “The conceited shall perish.”

“Eblis the cursed said to his troops, ‘If only I could impose three things upon son of Adam, I would not care for whatever he would do then, because his deeds will not be accepted: to regard his deeds as very much, neglect his sins, and be controlled by conceit.'”

“A knowledgeable man asked the worshipper about his prayers. ‘How can a person like me be asked about his prayers?’ said the worshipper. ‘How about your weeping (out of fear of God)?’ asked the knowledgeable man. ‘I weep so heavily that my tears flow on my cheeks,’ answered the worshipper. The knowledgeable commented, ‘To laugh while you are truly fearful of God is surely better than weeping while you are conceited. No single item of the deeds of the conceited will be raised ( i.e. accepted).'”

One of the Imams (a) narrated that two men; a worshipper and sinful, entered a mosque. When they went out, the sinful was faithful and the worshipper sinful. The worshipper offered the rites of worship while he was conceited; therefore, his mind was engaged in his conceit. The sinful offered the acts of worship because he was regretful for his sins; therefore, he was seeking God’s forgiveness as he remembered his sins.”

It is worth mentioning that the discommended conceit is to consider the good deed as very much. To feel pleased for the good deed along with modesty for sake of God—this is not included with the discommended conceit.

Disadvantages of Conceit

Conceit causes selfishness and vanity, which are the causes of people’s detestation and humiliation. It turns one’s eyes away from noticing his own defects. The conceited forgets his sins and causes himself many damages, since negligence of sins stops against repentance to God and exposes to His wrath.

Treatment of Conceit

Because conceit and arrogance are of the same origin, though they differ in trend, their treatment is the same. It is important for the self-conceited to realize that all virtues that arouse in himself conceit are the graces of God that He grants to whom He wills. Hence, He should be shown gratitude for them.

In the field of avoiding self-conceit, it is related that one of the righteous people, once, left his house after midnight for visiting one of the holy shrines and offering the rites there. In his way, he was controlled by conceit and thought that he was in his way for offering rites of worship in such a cold hour while others were enjoying warmth and sleep in their houses. Meanwhile, he saw one of the hawkers who was selling round rape. He pushed himself towards him and asked how much he would earn from that job. ‘Two or three dirhams,’ said the hawker. The man then thought with himself, ‘Why should I be so conceited? The value of my sleepless and wandering in such an hour is only two or three dirhams.”

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